Lightning Strike Deal at Deadline
By JOHN WAWROW
AP Hockey Writer
The Tampa Bay Lightning strengthened their Eastern Conference-leading team by acquiring New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh.
The Rangers spurred their franchise overhaul by adding yet another first-round draft pick in consecutive days.
And Senators captain Erik Karlsson is staying in Ottawa for the remainder of the season after the league’s trading deadline passed on Monday afternoon.
The Lightning struck among the most significant deals by adding the 28-year-old McDonagh to a lineup already well-stocked with elite defensemen. Tampa Bay also acquired left wing J.T. Miller, a two-time 20-goal-scorer.
The Rangers acquired three players, including forward Vladislav Namestnikov, plus a first-round pick in this year’s draft and a conditional first-rounder in 2019.
The deal came a day after New York landed two draft picks, including a first-rounder, and three players in trading power forward Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins.
The Senators were unable to move Karlsson, a two-time Norris Trophy-winner, who will be making $7.5 million in the final year of his contract.
General manager Pierre Dorion acknowledged he fielded offers on every player over the past few months. When it came to Karlsson, Dorion said there was no “franchise deal out there” for his franchise player.
The day was otherwise dominated by a series of moves involving four of seven Central Division rivals.
The Winnipeg Jets gave up a first-round draft pick as part of a trade to acquire six-time 20-goal-scoring forward Paul Stastny in a trade with St. Louis.
The Nashville Predators also gave up a first-round pick as part of a deal to land forward Ryan Hartman from the Chicago Blackhawks.
And the expansion Vegas Golden Knights added to their Western Conference-leading team by acquiring three-time 20-goal-scoring forward Tomas Tatar from Detroit. The Red Wings added three draft picks, including a first-round pick.
The San Jose Sharks added size and scoring by acquiring Evander Kane from Buffalo for two picks, including a conditional 2019 first-round selection, and a prospect.
The four first-round picks swapped — not including the two conditional selections — on Monday were the most to move on the final day of NHL trading since at least 2008, according to league figures. And no first-rounders had moved on each of the previous two trade deadline days.
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson attributed the amount of high draft picks swapped on how tight the playoff races are, particularly in the Western Conference. Before games on Monday, six points separated the Sharks, who sit second in the Pacific Division standings, and Colorado, which is 11th in the West.
“It’s supply and demand of those players that can make a difference,” Wilson said. “Some people would say pricey, but it almost always is pricey at this time of year when you have competitive juices flowing.”
Rangers GM Jeff Gorton was pleased to be among the teams to add building blocks.
“You look at these opportunities when they come along and maybe we take advantage or get an opportunity because teams feel they can win and we can make these deals,” Gorton said.
The Lightning’s first-round pick gives the Rangers 10 selections in this year’s draft, including seven in the first three rounds.
Three teams added players via waivers.
The Philadelphia Flyers claimed Johnny Oduya after the two-time Stanley Cup-winning defenseman was waived by Ottawa. The Flyers, who have won five straight and are 9-0-2 in their past 11, lost defenseman Mark Alt, who was claimed on waivers by Colorado. And the Calgary Flames added forward depth by claiming Chris Stewart, who was waived by Minnesota.
Blue Jackets 5, Capitals 1
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Seth Jones and Cam Atkinson each had a goal and two assists, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Washington Capitals.
Columbus scored four goals in the first period — two of them on power plays — in winning their second game in three days and the first in four tries against the Capitals this season.
Flyers 1, Canadiens 0, SO
MONTREAL (AP) — Sean Couturier scored in the sixth round of the shootout, and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Montreal Canadiens for their season-best sixth straight victory.
Maple Leafs 3, SO
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Brayden Point scored the deciding goal in a shootout for the second consecutive game, lifting the Tampa Bay Lightning to a victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.